Wilcox Ind RAPTAR XE

New Rotary Wing Advanced Tactical Helmet for Nightstalkers

The Nightstalkers of the famed 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) have adopted a new lightweight flight helmet called the Rotary Wing Advanced Tactical Helmet or RATH (pronounced Wrath).

Recently on display at the AAAA Summit in Nashville, the new helmet will replace HGU-56/P Rotary Wing Aircrew Ballistic Helmet (ABH) Systems which have been in service for decades. In fact, the 160th was one of the first adopters of the HGU-56/P in the 1990s.

The quest for a lightweight flight helmet which would reduce aircrew neck strain began five years ago and has taken the combined efforts of the US Army Aeromedical Research Lab, Air Force Research Lab, SOFWERX, USSOCOM and the 160th. The effort has culminated with this fielding.


• Meets / exceeds all US Army FNS / PD 96-18 Safety Requirements & Specifications

• 6 unique helmet shell sizes – does not put extra liner padding in larger sizes to create smaller sizes

• 24% average weight reduction across all sizes when compared to legacy HGU-56P helmet

• 9% increase in side-to-side field of view when compared to legacy HGU-56P helmet

• Optional ballistic applique to provide protection from small arms fire & fragments

• Ventilated carbon fiber shell with “penetration proof” Dyneema™ ballistic liner

• Koroyd™ damage control honeycomb liner with up to 18% more compression than EPS foam

• Lightweight adjustable dial suspension and retention liner assembly

• Hot swap ballistic visor can be changed in less than 30 seconds without tools

• Clear & tinted ballistic Class 1 visor

• Side mounting rails for lights & accessories

• Easy snap / release chinstrap buckle

• Quick-release ANVIS NVG shroud

• Headset can be worn independently from helmet

• Hearing pass-thru with dynamic sound suppression and volume control

• UmeCobra™ boom microphone offers an average of 10 dB improvement of legacy M-87 mic

• Gel earseals and adjustable nape pad for custom sizing and compression adjustment

7 Responses to “New Rotary Wing Advanced Tactical Helmet for Nightstalkers”

  1. Ray Forest says:

    No maxillofacial shield option? I thought that had been proven fairly effective over the past 20 years? Was the legacy helmet ballistic? I can’t tell if this one is equally ballistic or requires the armor appliqué. If required, I wonder how’s the weight compare then? I’m sure the lack of bulk is welcome

    • Jerame says:

      The maxiofacial shield never caught on in the 160th. It reduces FOV, and the Cobra mic makes it unnecessary in most situations.

      The legacy helmet/RATH are not ballistic.

      24% weight reduction.

  2. BS says:

    Which company is manufacturing these? Gentex?

    • Alan P says:

      Looks like an OPS-CORE variant that Gentex produces.

      I don’t think there are really many manufacturers of aviation helmets, so Gentex is probably a safe bet.

  3. Scott S says:

    Manufacturer is FinalForge

  4. Shawn W says:

    Few interesting things to note! Looks like Final Forge is owned by the original founder of OPS-CORE, I’m sure Gentex loves that.

    This helmet looks great, is that M-LOK compatible rails on it? Armor Source, HHV, MTEK, Final Forge? All going with M-LOK…

  5. rotorhd says:

    I knew that some USAF CSAR SMAs were wearing Team Wendy or Ops Core high cut helmets as a test bed. On deployment, we as CSAR aircrews, were always carrying a MICH or some type of ground helmet in case of E&E or being downed. Why carry two helmets? It makes sense to have only one helmet for the aircrews.